Posts for April 2010

Medium Quality: The 2010 International Experimental Media Congress

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From April 7 to 11, during the closing days of the 2010 Images Festival, Toronto hosted nearly three hundred scholars, artists, curators and students at the Ontario College of Art & Design for the second International Experimental Media Congress. This was not the second “annual” Congress—second coming would be more appropriate. The first was convened more than twenty years ago, in 1989 as the Toronto Experimental Film Congress. Many (I can’t count myself among them) remember how political and generational agendas met in a polarizing clash of mythic proportions around the 1989 gathering. A significant group of detractors put forward an anti-manifesto and some to this day remain turned-off to the original event, as well as to the difficult project of exhuming it.

While 2010 had its fair share of deficiencies, two that I’m told plagued 1989—a limited canon and lack of women—did not make waves this year. According to filmmaker Barbara Hammer, who presented a performance in Toronto in celebration of her newly released book chronicling her life and work, "I was at the last EMC and the big complaint was gender inequality. Corrected!” However there was at least one notable casualty: “we lost the raucous edge of complaint and challenge we had twenty years ago.” I would agree that this “congress” was missing the kind of audacity, theater and conflict found in most houses of representatives. Although it was ostensibly not an academic conference, generally it felt like one. Most panelists delivered tidy presentations and the overall experience was managed and mannered, with moments of noise and inspiration. On the plus side of this, the week was smooth and friendly, with an engaging film festival and relevant exhibitions providing content for the evenings. I came curious and left satisfied.

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X-FILES (2008-Present) - Hermonie Only

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Book 1 of 1 (2009) - Fiona Banner

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Each print in this edition, Book 1/1, is the same and yet each is unique. Each one has its own ISBN number and is registered under its own individual title. Each one of the edition is therefore an official publication and each is an edition in, and only of, itself. An edition of one...a book reduced to a reference, purely an imagined space.

Every book published anywhere in the world carries its own, identifiable ISBN (International Standard Book Number) number. Since 2007 ISBNs have contained 13 digits. Each print in this edition has its own identifiable ISBN number just as every edition of every book published carries its own number.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM CULTURELABEL

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This Will Get Around (2009) - Louie Schumacher

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General Web Content

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Watermarking or tagging images that appear online is a common security measure meant to prevent the circulation of a particular image without attribution. The ease with which images may be copied, dragged, screengrabbed, or otherwise extracted from their original context and distributed through platforms such as Tumblr means that those interested in selling images or otherwise controlling their distribution often rely on digital watermarking as a blunt proprietary tool.

Digital watermarking can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but is most commonly a name or phrase placed over the image itself, thereby disrupting its visual continuity and making it undesirable to copy. The most recognizable watermarks are those of stock photo agencies such as Getty Images, and many artists, such as Guthrie Lonergan, Kevin Bewersdorf, and Aleksandra Domanovic, have used Getty photos as a means of reflecting on issues of copyright as they apply to affect and art making.

That said, the practice is hardly limited to artists and large corporations, and has become particularly prevalent on eBay for users selling "authentic" or "vintage" photos and prints. The simultaneous need to display the image for the buyer but prevent the buyer from simply copying the file itself makes watermarking a widely agreed upon convention. How this marking is accomplished varies widely, and in some ways produces a kind of self-reflexive visual poetry, one primarily concerned with questions of authenticity and attribution.


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More photos of Seven on Seven!

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One of the participants in Seven on Seven, Matt Mullenweg, took some nice shots of last weekend's event. We thought we'd share some of them here, below. Thanks to Matt for letting us reblog them!

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Marc Andre Robinson, Hilary Mason

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Monica Narula, Joshua Schachter

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David Karp, Ryan Trecartin, Lauren Cornell

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Joshua Schachter, Matt Mullenweg

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Peter Rojas

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Marc Andre Robinson

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Evan Roth, Matt Mullenweg

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Tauba Auerbach, Ayah Bdeir

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Monica Narula, Joshua Schachter

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Project Ten

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Project Ten (Still)

Following the Seven on Seven photos we posted this morning, I thought I'd share a link to the idea proposed by Ryan Trecartin and David Karp during the conference, Project Ten. The site allows users to anonymously upload 10-second clips, which can be navigated by three tags. (Note: Project Ten is in beta form, and they aren't allowing public uploads yet.) The concept is to create a browsing experience that mimics the jump from user to user found in ChatRoulette, opening up the clips to anything at all, not just those captured on a webcam. The limit on the number of tags also allows a rudimentary means of creating narrative as you move through the videos. Project Ten seems like it has the potential to become a gigantic, collectively authored version of one of Trecartin's films, which in my opinion, is totally, totally cool. I'm really hoping that they fully develop the site!

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97 polysiloxane hoses (2010) - Zimoun

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97 polysiloxane hoses 3.0mm, compressed air
Size: 200cm x 200cm x 100cm / 40" x 40" x 20".
In collaboration with Daniel Imboden / dim-tech (technical development).

Originally via today and tomorrow

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Begin Records

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Detail from the pdf for Maryann Norman's "Adenoshn"

Begin Records, a netlabel of sorts curated by Krist Wood, takes a unique approach to the notion of a release. Each "record" consists of a singular website, a zip of mp3s, and a pdf. Wood described in an email to me that the "Records" in "Begin Records" refers "simply to the act of recording data for the purpose of preservation." Moreover, the project is an attempt to "explore the data organization, communication and dissemination methods used in formal science as a means to record and codify artwork of myself and others." The pdf plays a key role here -- each one follows the format of a scientific research article, except the contents are wildly abstract and colorful, and easily artworks in themselves. The capacity for all three elements of the release -- the website, the zip, the pdf -- to circulate either together or on their own speaks instinctively to the serendipitous discovery and distribution of information online. In this respect, Begin Records sets up an interesting model, one that I wish other labels would take up more actively. Check the website for releases by Maryann Norman, Krist Wood and Kevin Bewersdorf.

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Sucks (2009) - Brad Tinmouth

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Vacuum, Monitor, Computer, Plastic Bag, Digital Timer Based on a statement provided by John Oswald.

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